Traveling is a big headache for pet owners. They enjoy vacations as much as anyone else, but feel guilty about leaving their pet behind. Half of the time goes in wondering if their babies are pining away for them and the rest pining away for them. Kennels, pet-sitters, family… There’s only so far any of them goes. The dilemma leads to a point where they cancel the trip altogether.
I have faced the same problem, and that’s why I spent a long-time trawling the net for pet-friendly guesthouses and resorts. Here are some destinations within road-trip distance from Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore and Chennai where your furry friends will feel welcomed.
1: Pet Friendly Accommodations Near Delhi
Two popular road-trip destinations from Delhi are Dharamshala and Dehradun. I spent hours on the Webbernet and followed it up by calling each of the places to find out if the ‘pets allowed’ tag is random nonsense, or not.
Dharamshala is 487 km from Delhi, which is day-long drive if you have two people willing to get behind the wheels and a dog to keep you company. I wouldn’t suggest taking a cat on such a long road trip because they would not be happy about it. When cats are unhappy, the outlook is bleak, but you are the best judge.
Ashwani Bamba of Spring Valley Resorts (rated 3 out of 5), Bhagsunag, McLeod Ganj, said they’d welcome your furry friends so you can share the lovely experience with your four-legged chum.
Dehradun is 237 km away from Delhi, so the brave could attempt taking their cats. At the end of the weary, winding road, head to Vishranti – A Doon Valley Jungle Retreat (rated 4.5 out of 5). Sanjeev assured me that the entire family – including ones who like to drink out of the toilet bowl – will be taken care of. But be warned: Hotel Skyking at Dehradun is labelled pet-friendly, but they assured me that it’s a mistake. It is, most definitely, for those of us who walk upright on two legs, and teaching a dog the trick won’t work.
2: Pet Friendly Resorts in Mumbai
There are thankfully lots of road-trip options from Mumbai. With the fast paced life of the metropolitan, Mumbaikars need breaks more often than others. I’ve got a couple of pet friendly hotels for you.
First, consider Lavasa, which is only 186 km from Mumbai and is a calm weekend getaway destination. Set off in peace after making a reservation at the pet friendly hotel Waterfront Shaw. I got hold of Smitha there who soothed my worries with calm assurances. They have no reservations against pets and score of 4 out of 5 from over 300 reviews.
If Lavasa doesn’t appeal to you, try Alibaug (about 93 km from Mumbai). Ghanvatkar Bunglow at Zirad has benignly agreed to welcome masters and loving companions with equal warmth. They’re rated 4.5 according to users, so you can expect good service.
3: Pet Friendly Accommodation in Bengaluru
Folks in Bengaluru are just as lucky as those in Delhi and Mumbai as far as the weekend getaways are concerned. I went digging for places in Coorg (about 260 km from Bengaluru, or Bangalore if you prefer that). I have some good news and bad news: there are a couple of places in Madikeri that will allow pets.
First, there’s pet friendly hotel Vivanta by Taj, but they have a few conditions. The first condition is that the pet has to weigh under 15 pounds, and we strongly condemn any thought of putting your Great Dane on a diet. The second is that only their premium rooms have this pet-friendliness. Luxury villa and Presidential Nirvana Suites are, apparently, suitable accommodation for pampered pooches or kitties. They will also charge you Rs. 3000 plus taxes per night, but if you’re splurging on Vivanta by Taj at Madikeri, that shouldn’t be much of a problem.
If that’s a bit much, you could try Little Jungle Home Stay, which also has an excellent 4.5 out of 5 in guest rating. Boji Bopanna, whose word seems to be law and is very nice, told us that they have no objection to pets as long as you take along whatever your pet needs in terms of beds, toys, security blankets, frilly skirts and so on. They don’t mind dogs or cats, but they haven’t had to deal with a really big breed dog so far and might be reluctant to take that on. You could try calling – as long as you can convince her that your dog will listen to you and behave well, you should be fine.
4: Pet Friendly Accommodation in Chennai
Chennai folks, too, have many getaway options, but since winter is the perfect time for beach holidays, I zeroed in on Pondicherry (or Puducherry – about 160 km away). I found two places that will save your vacation from being ruined by separation anxiety. The first is the Dune Eco Village (users rate them 4 out of 5), who, according to Lakshman with whom I spoke, don’t mind pets one bit.
The second is Villa Helena (another 4 out of 5), where Benjamin assured us that pets are welcome – as long as they’re well-behaved and can get along with cats. Villa Helena is already home to two cats, your pets will need to be sociable. Benjamin even has a dog-friendly restaurant.
As far as the poor neglected people in Hyderabad are concerned, I’m sorry; I struck out even after calling a good many hotels that are marked pet-friendly. If you know any that do welcome canine and feline family, please do enlighten me and all the pet parents in Hyderabad who will be eternally grateful to you!